Netflix’s Luke Cage series is all about the battle for Harlem’s soul, and that battle comes to comics with the new storyline beginning in Power Man And Iron Fist, appropriately titled “Harlem Burns.” 2016 has been an exceptional year for writer David Walker at Marvel Comics, and he’s made a big mark with his work on books like PM&IF, the prematurely canceled Nighthawk, and this week’s Occupy Avengers, which tells a very timely tale about Hawkeye and Red Wolf fighting for a Native American reservation suffering from a contaminated water source. Walker made strong use of a Civil War II tie-in to advance the plot in PM&IF without damaging the central relationship between Luke Cage and Danny Rand, and he’s built up a compelling cast of supporting characters and villains over the past year to revitalize Marvel Comics’ Harlem.
Now that Harlem has been built up, it’s time to tear it all down. This preview of next week’s PM&IF #10 spotlights the figures who will play major parts in the destruction with a flashback to the creation of The Fang Gang, “the greatest group of criminals that never was.” Artist Sanford Greene takes advantage of the backwards time jump to give the characters bold costume designs rooted in ’80s fashion, and the texture in his linework is amplified by Lee Loughridge’s grainy coloring. The energy and atmosphere of Greene’s artwork have made him a perfect fit for Walker’s story, and this new storyline gives him the opportunity to go even bigger as war breaks out. Luke and Danny are about to face off their greatest challenge yet, and given the strength of this book thus far, their struggle should lead to a very satisfying superhero story.